There's just something breath-taking about having a roaring blaze sitting prettily in your fireplace, especially during cold winter nights. But with recent concerns about global warming reaching all-time highs, you probably would have wondered at one point in time or another, whether you'd be found a guilty suspect if the environmental police stopped by your home and saw a nice fire burning in the fireplace.
Well, if that thought has crossed your mind in the past, you can rest easy now because not only does it prove that you have a decent level of concern for your immediate environment, but you'd also be delighted to know that there are indeed ways for you to burn a log fire in an eco-friendly way. By burning wood sustainably, you demonstrate your respect for both the environment and your neighbours.
The following are some simple, easy-to-implement tips for burning log fires that you can adopt right away to help reduce the adverse effects that improper burning of wood causes to the environment.
Make Sure Your Wood Is Prepared To Burn
You should only burn firewood that is ready to be burnt if you want to avoid harming the environment. How do you know if your firewood is well prepared for burning? Well, if the moisture content of your firewood falls within the 0 - 20% range, then you're good to go. Anything higher than 20% is a no-no because burning such firewood is the fastest way to release toxic particulates into the environment and builds up creosote in your chimney, which, if unchecked, can result in chimney fires.
To ensure that you're using high-quality wood, you should buy from a reputable, recognized firewood supplier (such as Australian Firewood) that sells logs of firewood that are ready to burn and have a moisture content of no more than 20 percent.
Don't Burn Domestic Garbage Or Waste Wood
It's a natural tendency for most folks to toss things into a burning fire but when it comes to building eco-friendly log fires, it's never a good idea to throw in just anything, especially domestic garbage or waste wood. You read that correctly. Waste wood. Or more aptly put, waste from treated wood.
Products that contain Arsenic and Formaldehyde can release poisonous contaminants into the atmosphere in and around your home when burnt. The same goes for throwing empty pesticide cans into your fireplace. You should also avoid burning the following kinds of wood:
- Treated wood of any kind, including pallets, particle board, and cardboard.
- Driftwood because when burned, it emits chlorine gas. Driftwood has been imbued with salt from the ocean or sodium chloride.
- Glued, stained, or decorated wood.
At Least Once A Year, Sweep The Flue Or Chimney
Maintaining a clean, functional chimney is super important. This is because the majority of all recorded (and probably every unrecorded) chimney fires arise as a result of tar or flammable creosote collecting on chimney walls. If your chimney is not well maintained, the particles from your fire might accumulate and also become polluting to the atmosphere whenever you light a fire. Even if you burn only the driest, cleanest firewood, we still recommend having your chimney swept at least once a year.
The fact is that most chimney fires are easily preventable. You can dramatically lower the risk of a chimney fire and, as a result, the environmental effect of your burns by committing to regularly sweeping your chimney or flue and using only dry logs that are prepared for burning with moisture content less than 20%.
Only Start A Fire When Necessary
It's not so much of a stretch to admit that if you love your wood stove as much as we do, you won't need many excuses to light up your stove. After all, enjoying a warm fire while sitting by it is more than enough to make you feel happy and relaxed. What a delight!
As much as indulging sounds wonderful, the truth is that by only lighting our log fires when necessary (and not simply because we feel like it), we can all lessen our impact on the environment.
When Starting A Log Fire, Be Patient
If you want to get that blaze roaring as soon as you enter the living room, especially if you've been out in the cold for hours on end, that's completely understandable. But hurrying can increase the possibility of your log fire smoldering (which is something you want to avoid as much as possible). If you rapidly feed your log fire with too much fuel than it can handle, it wouldn't matter if you used the driest firewood available; the chances of your fire smoldering would still be very high. There won't be sufficient energy for all the wood to effectively ignite in a fire that is overfed with wood fuel.
When the firewood used in building a log fire is incompletely and inefficiently burned, the amount of particulate matter given off by such a fire increases. Small, solid particles that resemble soot make up particulate matter. Many health problems, including respiratory disorders, can be brought on by these particles.
For Lighting, Use The Swiss (or Upside-Down) Approach
Many people believe that fire starts from the bottom and spreads up. The logs are then placed on top of the kindling (sticks and blocks), which is laid out at the bottom. According to a Swiss study (apparently they know a thing or two about fires apart from wristwatches), starting the fire from the top down results in improved firewood combustion. As a result, heat rises fast, warming the chimney. A draft is automatically produced by the heat in the chimney, which accelerates the ignition of the fire in the fireplace.
Here's how the whole process works:
- On the fire grate or the floor of the fireplace, put two or three small wood blocks. The blocks should have some room in between;
- On top of the blocks and one another, arrange three crosswise layers of kindling;
- On the center layer of the kindling, lay two lighters or starter bricks;
- Fire up the lighter blocks.
In all of these, building an eco-friendly fire would be impossible if you used the wrong kind of wood.
That's why you should always have your firewood delivered to your doorstep by a tested and trusted firewood seller like Australian Firewood. Call us today!